When Dagny returns, Eddie is tense, bewildered, and clutching a newspaper. He needs to speak with Dagny, even if she doesn’t like to talk about “him”…

It’s those mines. There’s nothing there, and no indication that anyone with any expertise could possibly expect there to be. The San Sebastian government feels ripped off and furious. Eddie is indefinably afraid. Dagny is trying to fathom…

Despite whatever else he may have become, they know that Francisco is no fool…

Dagny demands that Eddie set up a meeting with “the bastard”

“Dagny,” he said sadly, reproachfully, “it’s Frisco D’Anconia.”

“It was.”

 

They don’t like to show emotion, but we can feel Hank and Dagny getting turned on by their banter over having to get that rail laid in only three quarters of the time she thought she had. He knows he’s got her by the balls. He’ll take an extra $20 per ton for his service…or more? She knows he won’t go higher. He needs to use her as a showcase.

He loves a girl with no illusions about favors. She wouldn’t have it any other way.

He wants to break her. But then who would he have? That’s why…she’s the only one worth working…

She starts to worry about Ellis. She can’t let a guy on his trajectory miss a beat. Hank’s not worried. Doesn’t he care? Why? He knows she’ll do it. She smiles.

Those awful looters make them sick, but they’ll prevail. They’ll just…work…harder…while the idiots all while away…

She watched his tall figure moving across the office. The office suited him; it contained nothing but the few pieces of furniture he needed, all of them harshly simplified down to their essential purpose, all of them exorbitantly expensive in the quality of materials and the skill of design. The room looked like a motor – a motor held within the glass case of broad windows. But she noticed one astonishing detail: a vase of jade that stood on top of a filing cabinet. The vase was a solid dark green stone carved into plain surfaces; the texture of its smooth curves provoked an irresistible desire to touch it. It seemed startling in that office, incongruous with the sternness of the rest; it was a touch of sensuality.

If we weren’t certain her panties were wet yet, we’d know for sure when he shows his vulnerability. He does care. She reads the freight reports. She knows.

And then the tease – of course he’s planning to build a factory there so he can cut out her transportation charges…

Go ahead. I’ll be satisfied with carrying your supplies, and the groceries for your workers…”

Yes. She said that. The freight will be so heavy she won’t miss his steel.

He laughs. We know he’s hard. She’s not like any of those other girls…

…and then they get lost in Jim…she doesn’t understand him. He’s worse than stupid. Hank tells her not to worry about silly things like him. He gets her talking about how she’d survive if he refused to give her rail. He know she’d find way. He’ll never let her down, though…not so long as he’s in business.

…She was wrong about him. He DOES have emotion! He shares her joy. He shares her passion. He is someone she can talk to. This is the type of human she’s been looking for.

Together they watch her Rearden Metal being made. They, alone, share the knowledge of how awesome it is. We can imagine her heart skipping a beat when she sees her “TT” etched into his better-than-steel. He tells her how fast she’ll be able to go on his hard line. She wants diesels next. He’s going for things that really fly…

Chicken wire. Kitchen ware. Ocean liners and telephone wires. He’s been testing his metal and he’s ready to prove it. There’s nothing he can’t make.

They spoke of the metal and of the possibilities which they could not exhaust. It was as if they were standing on a mountain top, seeing a limitless plain below and roads open in all directions. But they merely spoke of mathematical figures, of weights, pressures, resistances, costs.

She had forgotten her brother and his National Alliance. She had forgotten every problem, person and event behind her…

She feels alive.

He made a step back and said in a strange tone of dispassionate wonder, “We’re a couple of blackguards, aren’t we?”

“Why?”

“We haven’t any spiritual goals or qualities. All we’re after is material things. That’s all we care for.”

She doesn’t understand that and is incapable of feeling guilty about it. She worries for him though…there’s danger here for him. He wouldn’t say anything if it didn’t mean something…though he did state it as a simple matter of fact. She looks at him. Her apprehensions vanishes.

“Dagny,” he said, “whatever we are, it’s we who move the world and it’s we who’ll pull it through.”

Back to work, fresh off the phone to make an appointment with Rearden, Dagny receives an unexpected visitor.

He was young, tall and something about him suggested violence, though she could not say what it was, because the first trait one grasped about him was a quality of self-control that seemed almost arrogant. He had dark eyes, disheveled hair, and his clothes were expensive, but worn as if he did not care or notice what he wore.

Ellis Wyatt,” he said in self-introduction.

She leapt to her feet, involuntarily. She understood why nobody had or could have stopped him in the counter office.

He is at her desk because he understands she’s the only one there with a brain. He is there in response to the news that the Phoenix Durango is being forced off line. His ultimatum:

“If you have the intelligence to keep this corrupt organization functioning at all, you have the intelligence to judge this for yourself. We both know that if Taggart Transcontinental runs trains in Colorado the way it did five years ago, it will ruin me. I know that this is what you people intend to do. You expect to feed off me while you can and to find another carcass to pick dry after you have finished mine. That is the policy of most of mankind today. So here is my ultimatum: it is now in your power to destroy me; I may have to go; but if I go, I’ll make sure that I take all the rest of you along with me.”

Dagny, bound to her own sense of honor, cannot bare her heart and swear allegiance to this kindred soul. All she can do is take responsibility. She does so simply and directly.

Wyatt seems slightly taken aback. In a good way. “All right. Thank you. Good day.”

Dagny appeals to Conway, a fifty year old self-made man who lives and breathes the railroad. She vows to fight with him to overturn the rule. Conway, to her great dismay refuses. He laments that the world is in a terrible state, but men need to get together. He will honor his oath and the majority rule. She understands honor, but have they the right to twist a promise of working for the common good into an oath to commit professional suicide?

“’If that’s the price of getting together, then I’ll be damned if I want to live on the same earth with any human beings! If the rest of them can survive only by destroying us, then why should we wish them to survive? Nothing can make self-immolation proper. Nothing can give them the right to turn men into sacrificial animals. Nothing can make it moral to destroy the best. One can’t be punished for being good. One can’t be penalized for ability. If that is right, then we’d better start slaughtering one another, because there isn’t any right in the world!’”

Dan, however, is defeated, tired, and bound to a promise of compliance. He can’t bring himself to think it’s right – he worked way too hard for this…but…“Who is John Galt?”

Might as well go back to his line in Arizona. Maybe take up fishing or read a book,

Dagny assures him this isn’t personal pity, or charity – both of which she reviles – but a sense of the right way to do things. She had looked forward to the fierce competition over Colorado. Now she doesn’t even want to look at the Rio Norte – “Oh God, Dan, I don’t want to be a looter!”

He says that she should have been born a century ago and implores her not to abandon Ellis Wyatt; that it will be harder to serve him without the spark of competition. Don’t feel guilty. The work is well cut out for her.

She wonders what destroyed this man…it couldn’t have just been her brother…